Target Market...

Mar. 19, 2012

My family and I are enjoying a family vacation over spring break this week so I won't be posting any lunches. Instead, I wanted to take this opportunity to write about something that has been bothering me for a food is marketed to kids. About a month ago I had to venture down an aisle of a grocery store I haven't visited in a while. You see, my local grocery store moved the almonds from the baking aisle to the "chips/pop" aisle. On my way to their new location I walked through the cereal aisle where I noticed most of the sugar-filled, cartoon laden cereals were all at hip level or below...right where kids could see them and in turn beg for a box (or two). Then when I turned into the chip/pop aisle I couldn't help but notice just how bright and colorful the food packaging was. Very inciting to little eyes!

This grocery store incident combined with the fact that I've noticed that just about every commercial that comes on tv during kids' programming is marketing junk food to kids made me want to get some specific facts on this topic. I did some digging and stumbled upon a great infographic created by the folks over at The statistics shown below illustrate the degree to which our children are exposed to and encouraged to consume foods filled with sugar, calories, and other "junk". These commercials also often mislead our children into believing these foods are somehow healthy and good for them.

Brought to you by and MAT@USC.

This is a good reminder to myself about why I do what I do. My children are constantly bombarded with images of bright, colorful, playful looking food that looks delicious and fun to eat. While I do think there is value in allowing my kids to enjoy a special treat every now and again, my goals is to help them develop a taste and preference for nutritious and wholesome food. When my family first made the transition to making better food choices the only way I could get my youngest son to try new foods was to cut them in shapes or place them in colorful containers (which is how this blog came to be). Knowing what I know now about how food is marketed to kids I understand why!

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